In 1846 Richmond Company built a six mile line to Clapham Junction to connect Richmond with Waterloo. However, the real objective was Windsor, and in 1847 an Act of Incorporation empowered the Windsor, Staines and South-Western Railway Company to extend the line to Windsor, via Staines and Datchet.
The line crosses the Thames lies less than a quarter of a mile from Richmond station. The new bridge, originally called the Richmond, Windsor and Staines Railway Bridge, was designed by the engineer Joseph Locke.
The three 100 foot spans were formed of six cast-iron ribs bolted together in sections. On the Surrey side the line was carried across Richmond Old Deer Park by a viaduct of seven brick arches.
Lock’s cast-iron beam structure was opened in 1848 but was in use for less than 60 years. In 1891 a cast-iron railway bridge near Norbury Junction, collapsed causing considerable concern over Richmond Railway Bridge.
In 1906 the L&SWR authorised the Horseley Bridge Company to replace the original bridge. Designed by the chief engineer of the L&SWR, J.W. Jacomb-Hood, the bridge used part of the old piers and abutments but with new decking and superstructure.
The new bridge, completed in 1908, is in effect two separate steel-arched bridges, each carrying one line of track.
In 1984 the main bridge girders and decking were replaced.